Thursday, October 1, 2009

Swirling Thoughts #48 – small victories – fish, bees, hot water, lice – and a nighttime trip to the doctor

Fish pond clearing up
Until today I thought we had two fish. One orange and one white living in really murky water. When I returned from ulpan this afternoon I saw Bob and Barbara sitting outside watching our cascading waterfall running (through the home-made-by-Bob filter) into the fish pond. I took one look and saw no less than 6 fish plus in almost crystal clear water. Unbelievable!

If Bob can make a fishpond filter, surely I can commission a bee trap!
I hoped Bob would find a bee trap when shopping for sechach yesterday but alas, none was to be found. Last Friday when I didn’t know how to operate my new Gold Line crock pot (it has a mysterious third setting called ‘auto’) I posted a question on the Efrat chat list about it. I got maybe 45 responses with all sorts of instructions and tips. It was really remarkable. And so again, I took my query to the chat list. How to make a bee trap? I got about 6 responses within the first hour with varying levels of detail (including this one: Hang bags of water and the bees see themselves in the reflection and leave!). Fortunately my seminary guests walked in (ready for a project) just as I was reviewing the bee trap responses. I now have a coke bottle bee trap (thanks, girls!) ready to be set up outside my sukkah tomorrow.

Ouch! Burning hot water
Suddenly the dud shemesh is giving us hot water. Seemingly ample amounts of burning hot water. We don’t know what to make of this, after exactly 2 months of NOT HOT WATER. We’re holding our breath and waiting – for what I’m not sure – but it seems too hot to be true.

It’s lice season in the aretz
3 of my children’s friends have nits – so I call the lice lady (who is booked solid) and BEG for a pre-emptive check. Baruch Hashem the lice lady came AND found nothing. Did I say Baruch Hashem? Baruch Hashem!!!

I’m so American it’s embarrassing sometimes. Need a doctor? Better to time your illness.
When Barbara came downstairs yesterday morning complaining of a sore throat I encouraged her to go to school, explaining that I’d take her to the doctor that evening. Because as far as I knew the doctor only has hours in the evening. As in you call at 4:30pm and they tell you when to come. Same day service. And so I called the doctor at 4:30pm hoping to get in quickly. I left a message. By now Becky was complaining of a sore throat and I didn’t much care for the way Asher was coughing. After a half hour I called again. Another message. A while later the doctor called me. Very apologetically and gently, with patience, he explained to me in English what I must have been missing each time I heard his answering machine. Seems he had hours the evening before, he’d had hours that morning and he was having hours again the next evening. A quick mental calculation told me it’s best to time an illness to fall out on a Tuesday evening. He apologized further for not having his diary with him and advised me to call his office the next day at 4:30pm to schedule an appointment. There are people who predicted my aliyah would fail based on the high level of medical pampering I was used to in New York. They are laughing now.

I kept Barbara home today and brought all four of them (Rose was now also complaining of a sore throat) to our 7pm appointment this evening. Three sore throats and one cough. For the cough – tea with honey. For the sore throats, B’H, he had the throat culture kits in his office (I was dreading waiting another day to take them to the kupat cholim just to culture them). So as I see him wrapping up the cultures and labeling them I ask (in shocked dismay), “They don’t have rapid strep tests here?” He assured me they do and if I don’t want to wait (the wait is a whole other story) I can go to the pharmacy in the morning, buy the rapid tests, go to the kupat cholim and have the nurse administer them. Okay… So now my advice to anyone planning on needing a strep test in Israel is to need it early in the week. A Thursday night test gets to the lab (this is a whole other story as well) Friday. It cooks overnight but the lab is closed for Shabbat. So the test is first looked at Sunday morning. Okay…So as the doctor hands ME the strep cultures I look at him sort of funny. He says they need to get to the kupat cholim before the 8:30 lab pickup tomorrow morning. I am wondering why he is sharing this detail with me. Of course there is some medical service that picks up the cultures and brings them to the lab. Right? Ha! I am the medical courier! I will wake up early tomorrow morning, deliver 3 cultures and then wait until Sunday for the results. The doctor was amazing and thorough, there is no question. The level of medical pampering, however, was less than zero.

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